BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Since our founding, National Promise Coalition has developed and grown in a positive direction. We are very proud of our board, and their abilities to contribute their own unique experience and skills to our success. Find out more about our board of directors below.
Founder and Board Chair
Christina Gerken, currently resides in Florida where she is the President of Align Consulting. Christina attended the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point where she obtained her degree in Elementary Education and Graduate Level Health Education. Christina has volunteered and sat on Boards for various nonprofit organizations throughout her professional career. She is the Founder of the National Promise Coalition and Board Chair. She enjoys being a wife, mother, good coffee, being outdoors and leading worship.
Cathie Vallas-McKinzie resides in Pittsburgh, PA. She is an Adjunct Instructor for the Community College of Allegheny County and a Victim Advocate Investigator for the Cold Case Foundation. Cathie holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Edinboro University, an M.S. in Criminal Justice Administration from Mercyhurst University, and is certified in Mediation and Stress Management. She has experience championing for exploited and victimized children through decades of work within the court system, as well as owning a supervised visitation business. Cathie owns three successful small businesses in the area ranging from recycled art and design, to mediation, which allows her to spread out into the fields she loves.
Connie Lesh, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania recently moved to Florida. Connie attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she obtained her B.S. in Accounting. Subsequently, she has held positions in various industries including Fisher Scientific, Westinghouse and Mellon Bank while spending the last 20 years with Development Dimensions International. Supporting nonprofit organizations in Pittsburgh, Connie is now pursuing various avenues to volunteer from her new hometown in Florida, including serving on the board for the National Promise Coalition. Recently sending her son off to college, Connie is capitalizing on the access to free time for walking/running, exploring the outdoors and establishing roots in Florida.
Shana Jones, a native of Chicago, IL now resides in Bradenton FL. She is Vice President of Federal Savings Bank. With more than 25 years experience in the real estate and mortgage lending industries, Shana is still passionate about transforming lives and rebuilding communities. She utilizes her expertise to help her clients receive the education and support they need to understand how to use real estate as a means to generate both primary and supplemental sources of income. Shana obtains her goal of helping clients by offering a wide variety of loan products that will best meet their goals. her lending philosophy has laid the foundation for a winning environment that emphasizes efficiency, customer satisfaction, and incredible attention to detail. In her free time, Shana enjoys traveling abroad, cooking, yoga, reading, working out and spending time with her daughter, Dimitra.
Joseph Sweeney serves as the Founder/CEO of The Asservo Project. For over 29 years, Mr. Sweeney has devoted himself to serving his country and community as a former SWAT Operator, Bomb Squad Commander, and U.S government Explosive Security Specialist. While serving overseas for Anti-Terrorism programs, he had conversations with colleagues about child kidnapping and human trafficking. Once aware of the size and scope of this epidemic and the lack of effort to combat it, he felt he had to do something to help these people and, consequently, The Asservo Project was formed. We provide resources to assist Law Enforcement, conduct awareness seminars, and build relationships with global organizations.
Mr. Sweeney is also the former International Director of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI) and currently serves on its Board of Trustees. He is also a member in good standing with the National Tactical Officers Association.